MINNEAPOLIS - One of the main complaints from Viking fans about playing in the Metrodome is the lack of tailgating space and opportunities for pregame revelry.
Downtown business interests and Mayor R.T. Rybak take those complaints seriously and on Friday took steps towards increasing the game-day fun factor.
The trek along Fifth Street South from the Warehouse District east to the Metrodome has been unofficially named "The Purple Path," a re-branded route that features many options for food, drink, and football entertainment.
"We have promised an enhanced, urban, game-day experience for Vikings fans downtown, and (Wednesday), we're starting to deliver," Rybak said. "With this first step of connecting the main game-day nodes along the new Purple Path, we're highlighting the great entertainment options that Minneapolis offers fans, and taking the opportunity to add to them."
New Purple Path signage will line the route on game days to encourage traffic between the two hubs of activity. To help kick things off on Sunday, September 23 when the Vikings host San Francisco, there will be "railgating" on the two blocks of Fifth Street South between Fifth Avenue South and Portland Avenue South. Sixteen mobile food trucks will be stationed for fans to sample from around 7 a.m. until around 1 p.m. or about an hour after kickoff.
"The Purple Path starts in the Warehouse District, where our restaurants and bars are always excited to welcome fans before, during and after the game," offered Joanne Kaufman, executive director of the Warehouse District Business Association. "Whether you're going to the game or just want to join in the fun and excitement, we open early and offer some great brunch choices, as well as other food and drink specials - not to mention easy parking, direct access to light rail, game-day TV broadcasts and a fun-filled atmosphere all day long!"
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